Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Taos Pueblo Musician Robert Mirabal
Often in America the indigenous people of this country are either plain forgotten or romanticized. The next few weeks I am going to highlight some talented artist, musicians, politicians, and writers from Native Country.
I thought I would start with someone I met on several occasions from Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. I thought I would just stick with his bio in order to stay within his public profile. I can tell you I think he is a very funny and nice guy! His concerts are full of incredible energy and he creates a very inclusive feeling.
Two-time GRAMMY winner, Robert Mirabal, lives with his family at the foot of sacred Taos Mountain in northern New Mexico.
Maintaining a traditional life, keeping the centuries-old customs of the Taos Pueblo people, Robert has been described as a Native American "Renaissance man" - musician, composer, painter, master craftsman, poet, actor, screenwriter, horseman and farmer - and travels extensively playing his music all over the world.
If you live a traditional life you see things differently—spiritually and musically.
His first flute came when he was 18 with money he borrowed from his grand mother, and shortly after wards he had the opportunity to meet Native American flute player R. Carlos Nakai who greatly influenced him.
When we met he looked at my hands and laughed. He said, I have that same scar. It's the scar of the flute maker.
In the years since, Robert has continued the evolution of his flute making and has also become a concert performer and recording artist. His dozen albums of traditional music, rock and roll, and spoken word present a contemporary view of American Indian life that is unequaled.
My music is informed by the ceremonial music that I've heard all my life. What I create comes out of my body and soul in a desire to take care of the spirits of the earth.
A leading proponent of world music, Robert has merged his indigenous American sound with those of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, tapping into a planetary pulse with a style that defies categorization.
My travels have provided me with experiences that I could have never imagined, and exposed me to a global sound and a global voice.
Whether as a composer, songwriter or musician, Robert has won many honors including two-time Native American Artist of the Year, three-time Songwriter of the Year, a 2006 GRAMMY Award for Sacred Ground, and his 2008 GRAMMY for Johnny Whitehorse Totemic Flute Chants, blending all of Robert's influences into a musical landscape that conjures up both the historic and contemporary West.
His 2002 breakthrough PBS Special, Music From a Painted Cave is unsurpassed in Native American theatrical expression.
His first novel, Running Alone in Photographs is now ready to order and will begin shipping November 14th, 2008.